Internationally Acclaimed Artist William Kentridge to Speak at University of Chicago on Oct. 3
Program to inaugurate new initiative at the University of Chicago
Source Newsroom: University of Chicago
Newswise — South African artist William Kentridge, who has earned international acclaim for a versatile body of work that includes animated films, prints, drawings, and opera, will deliver a lecture to launch the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago on Oct. 3. The free event, which takes place at 6 p.m. in Mandel Hall, will feature special appearances by members of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center.
Kentridge’s lecture, “Listening to the Image,” will inaugurate the Neubauer Collegium, an ambitious initiative designed to expand the boundaries of humanistic inquiry and focus resources on questions that transcend any single discipline or methodology.
At the event, Kentridge will speak on the practice and theory of making meaning in the studio through an exploration of the relationship of sound and image. The lecture will focus on one of Kentridge’s current projects involving Schubert's song cycle “Winterreise,” for which he is making films to be performed at the Vienna Festival next year. Kentridge will be accompanied by pianist Craig Terry, music director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Opera Center, and tenor John Irvin.
David Nirenberg, director of the Neubauer Collegium, said Kentridge’s work mirrors the new center’s collaborative and interdisciplinary spirit.
“The mission of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago is to bring together the finest thinkers from around the world, so it is fitting that William Kentridge is our inaugural visitor. His work takes up deep questions of personal and national history, politics, identity and justice—issues that lie at the heart of what we do in the humanities and social sciences—and explores them from many perspectives and through a rich variety of media,” said Nirenberg, the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought.
“His work exemplifies the values of the Neubauer Collegium, and I am certain his visit will ignite and inspire new ideas in all of us.”
The Neubauer Collegium supports innovative and collaborative UChicago faculty research projects, serves as a destination for outstanding visiting scholars, artists, and practitioners, and pioneers new efforts to engage broad audiences in humanistic scholarship. In its inaugural year, the Neubauer Collegium will support eleven visiting fellows and eighteen research projects that tackle complex questions through cross-disciplinary collaboration. Projects range from the ancient world to the modern, experiment with emerging technologies, and bring international experts to the University of Chicago for collaboration. More information on these projects and their associated programs and events can be found on the Neubauer Collegium’s website, neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu.
William Kentridge is among South Africa’s most celebrated contemporary artists. His diverse body of work includes stop-motion animated films of charcoal drawings, as well as etching, collage, sculpture, and the performing arts, often incorporating themes from South Africa’s apartheid and colonial past, as well as from Kentridge’s own life. His work has been featured at Documenta, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Musée du Louvre in Paris. He directed the Metropolitan Opera’s acclaimed production of Shostakovich’s The Nose in 2010, which returns to the Met in September.
During his visit to campus, Kentridge will also participate in a panel discussion, “Virtues of Bastardy: Mixed metaphors and collaborations in the studio,” with Jane Taylor, a South African writer and frequent visiting professor in English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. David Nirenberg will moderate the event, which takes place at 5 p.m. on Oct. 4 in the Regenstein Library, Room 122, with a reception immediately to follow.
About the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago
Founded in 2012 as an initiative of the Division of the Humanities and the Division of the Social Sciences, the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society supports research into complex questions that require expertise and perspectives of many disciplines, while pioneering new efforts to engage a wider public in humanistic scholarship. It also serves as a destination for outstanding visiting scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences from around the nation and the world who come to collaborate with their peers at the University of Chicago. The Neubauer Collegium is named in honor of Joseph Neubauer and Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, whose landmark $26.5 million gift to the University of Chicago in 2012 is among the largest in support of the humanities and social sciences in the institution’s history.
About William Kentridge
William Kentridge’s work has been seen in museums and galleries around the world since the 1990s, including Documenta in Kassel, Germany (1997, 2003, 2012), the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1998, 2010), the Albertina Museum in Vienna (2010), Jeu de Paume in Paris (2010), and the Musée du Louvre in Paris (2010), where he presented Carnets d’Egypte, a project conceived especially for the Egyptian Room. Kentridge’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute was presented at Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Festival d’Aix, and at La Scala in Milan. This September, Kentridge directs Shostakovich’s The Nose at The New York Metropolitan Opera, where it returns after its inaugural run in 2010 (the production traveled to Festival d'Aix and to Lyon in 2011), and Marian Goodman Gallery in New York presents Kentridge’s exhibition Second-hand Reading. The 5-channel video and sound installation The Refusal of Time was made for Documenta (13) in Kassel, Germany in 2012 and was presented at MAXXI in Rome late last year.
In 2010, Kentridge received the prestigious Kyoto Prize in recognition of his contributions in the field of arts and philosophy. In 2011, he was elected as an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and received the degree of Doctor of Literature honoris causa from the University of London. In 2012, Kentridge presented the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University and was elected member of the American Philosophical Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Also in that year, he was awarded the Dan David Prize by Tel Aviv University, and was named as Commandeur des Arts et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. In 2013, William Kentridge was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts by Yale University.